Friday, April 2, 2010

Embracing Life's Disruptions

I am sure all of us had the best laid plans as we started off our school year.  We prayerfully considered the curriculum choices that we made over the summer.  We felt confident that our children would love the topics we were going to teach them and we found new tools to help them in a subject they were struggling in.  The new pencils,  glue sticks and books were purchased for them so they would excel.  We were ready for a new school year and this year was going to be different because we were better prepared and had a better schedule to follow.  Yet, sometimes things do not go according to our plans, because God has a different plan.
            I am a planner and I love order.  I love to write things down in my calendar and school notebook and check each box off as the task or subject is completed.  When my plans come to fruition, I feel like it was a good day because of what I had accomplished.  Then of course I have had days that do not go according to ‘my’ plan.  I am sure every homeschool mom has had those days too.  Because my day has not gone the way it should, I usually consider it a ‘bad day’.  As I look back over this year, I would classify much of it as a ‘bad year’, according to my ways.   However, according to the LORD, He has a different view point.  “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.”  Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV)  I love the New Living Translation of this verse, "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  Isaiah 55:8  That verse just soothes my weary, fretful, “Am I doing enough”, homeschooling mom’s soul!   
We have all had bad days that did not go according to our plans.  Days when we have overslept.  Days when an illness strikes.  Days when a baby or toddler is constantly interrupting a school day.  Days when our schedules have been flipped upside down due to a disruption.  Yet, sometimes, those disruptions are exactly what God had in mind when He said in His word, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  Proverbs 16:9             
             God, in His infinite wisdom, brings about changes or ‘disruptions’ into our day.  Now, not all disruptions are from the Lord, however, some definitely are.  I am currently learning to be sensitive to, and recognize when, God has brought about a disruption into mine and my children’s day.  I still do everything I can to limit disruptions to our daily schedule, but sometimes they are unavoidable.  Though I have chosen what I prayerfully felt was the best curriculum choice for my children, there have been days when the LORD had chosen for them to learn about something other than the topic of ‘birds’ for that particular day.  Maybe he wanted them to learn about what cancer is because of what their grandma is going through or perhaps He wanted them to learn about serving and loving an enemy, or what it means when Daddy needs to find a new job, etc.  You get my point and can fill in the blank with your own ‘disruption’.
            As the school year is coming close to an end, I encourage you to embrace the so-called ‘bad days’ that the LORD has brought into your life.  Change your perspective from bad to good.  Is God’s hand upon this situation?  Learn to discern whether it is of the LORD or from the Enemy?  How can you use the situation to teach your children more about the things of the LORD while you are altering your schedule?  Be creative and do not give up in your thinking.  God is not surprised by the change in your plans.  He either sifted it through His hands and passed the ‘disruption’ down to you or He has allowed it to happen.
            As homeschooling moms, I think we feel easily crushed when we are constantly off our schedule or behind in our lesson plans.  That thought process will quickly snowball into a new way of thinking and questioning of our homeschooling abilities and/or perhaps our commitment to continue to homeschool our children in the future.  If this is where your mind is today, I implore you to go back to the Word of God and seek out the Scriptures that convicted you to homeschool in the first place.  Let God speak His truth into you heart and mind so you don’t feel defeated and attacked by the Enemy when you are experiencing a ‘bad day’. 
            Change can typically bring growth.   Just because our children are not learning a subject from a book at that moment, does not mean they are not learning and growing.  Don’t lose heart about the current situation your school year has been in, press on and do your best to get back on to your schedule, but  when God brings a disruption,  embrace it, for it might even draw you  and  your  children closer to the Lord.  “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.  Psalm 18:30

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